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Longtime Geneva barber Jerry Perrone dies

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 11:34 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 11:50 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Photo provided by the Perrone family)
Jerry Perrone, longtime owner of City Barber Shop in Geneva, cuts his grandson Joseph Perrone's hair while his wife, Teelie Perrone, watches.

GENEVA – When Jerry Perrone owned the City Barber Shop on State Street in Geneva, he did not post the prices of the haircuts.

There was a good reason for that, said his daughter, Nancy Schaal.

“I asked him why not, and he said, ‘Because a father comes in with three young boys, he can’t pay $5 or $10 for a haircut. He pays what he can. Another man comes in who overpays, it all balances out.’ ”

Perrone treated everyone who came to his shop with the same respect, whether it was the president of a company or someone who just needed a place to sit down for a while, Schaal said.

“My father had a big life,” said Schaal, of Monroe, Wis. “Any person my father met, he would get to know. Every Sunday growing up we were at my grandparents’ for spaghetti dinner. … There were people there who just came off the street, who just needed a good meal. That is how my father was raised and that is how he raised us.”

Perrone, 88, died Sunday at Arden Courts, Geneva. A celebration of his life is scheduled for next month. 

“Geneva has lost a friend and ambassador who embodied hospitality and graciousness,” Mayor Kevin Burns said.

Schaal said her grandfather had the barbershop business and her father went to work with him, eventually owning the shop.

“His work ethic was unbelievable,” Schaal said. “He was one of the hardest working men I ever knew. He loved the family, the barbershop, the American Legion and the community of Geneva.”

A World War II veteran, Perrone supported his wife and six children, five girls and a boy, from his work as a barber, Schaal said.

“We never had a lot of money, but we did not know we did not have a lot of money,” Schaal said. “We were rich in many other ways.”

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